Collecting fragments

Mungo Howard,

“My practice revolves around wandering; collecting fragments and using my camera to sample compositions within the everyday environment. I frequently employ mediated processes such as printing and casting, and I welcome the inescapable interference of chance variation within these systems of creation. The resulting works exist ambiguously as faux relics which refer to both the formal language of abstraction and to the legacy of the readymade through their found painterly compositions.”

Howard’s works imitate the everyday surfaces.

Using printing, and image transferring technique to mirror on another surface, at the same time, allowing these imperfection; traces of the hand-made; torn and adapting textures of time, fading of some parts; glimmering light spots…

A form of memories as thoughts.

Order of the urban detritus

“Elizabeth Gower creates stunning abstract compositions from humble materials, with an emphasis upon translucency, fragility and impermanence. Her practice draws much of its content and form from the world of the everyday – commercial images and objects as well as familiar and domestic materials such as newspaper and tissue paper. Exploiting the associations evoked by such banal material, her work has often been connected with a feminist sensibility; however this framing should be countered with recognition of the strong aesthetic concerns at play.” (from: Sutton Gallery)

I think her idealism relates a lot to the critical framework that I just discover: Realism / Nouveau Realisme, identified a tendency or a desire for artists to “Attempt to bring art closer to life through material means.”. Similarly to Hannah Hoch, Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg and Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford, using collage, assemblage, photographic imagery like photomontage and silk-screen juxtapositions to reproduce found images, expressing social commentaries. In Gower’s works I see rigid and orderly pattern that are not representational, yet putting emphasis to the commercial information, such as the price tags; the advertising typography, glossy surface in rotation of the information carefully selected to create repetition, revealing the concerns of consumerism and capitalism.

Elizabeth Gower
Savings 11
, 2010
Paper cuttings on board
45 x 45 cm
Urban Artefacts #3 (detail)
Elizabeth Gower,
Urban Artefacts #3(detail), 2004
Paper collage on drafting film
200 x 100 cm

Elizabeth Gower
Installation, 1976
Acrylic and resin on newsprint, wax paper, tissue paper and nylon
300 x 400 x 300cm
Monash University Museum of Art

I particularly draw to this installation work, as it shows the fragility of the materiality, yet creatively free as a vessel for other possibilities. The see-through translucency of the thin paper; the patterns and multi-colours created beneath the surfaces; the scale and the vertical hanging format, contributing to the experience of walking; looking up; surrounding these curtain-like draping.

This idea of presentation triggers a lot into my direction of pushing the digital collages works — the ‘Printmagram’, I began this experimentation to look into motion and abstraction in 2020, when I program digital images into the print machine, and paint on the surface with gestural motion, calling the result “printmagrams”.

emm x zhang
Printmagram | Pigmented ink on sketchbook, 2020

Humbler Bernard Frize

Ridiculous, useless, powerless, derisory and absurd

Bernard Frize, French artist has invented the cheering, pastel yet orderly colour of non-representative work, lifting me to see the pure work of his processes, experimentations, and the urge to make art without expressing or sending messages of any kind.

At this stage, I see myself finding interests in the less form of expressive figuration, and moving into the realm of viewing and making, and finding the joys in the process of making.

“First of all, by being less ambitious, not thinking that I would change the world, which I did not understand, and that my action would be more limited. Before being political, a work of art has to be a work of art. It’s more that this piece of art has to be in conformity with your thoughts, so I found a way that was much humbler and that I could be satisfied with.”

“Nobody is interested in my ego, so I don’t think a painting has to do with that. I’m not at all an expressionist; I always thought that expressionism was staged, so I don’t feel I have to provide this.”

“The subject of my work is not to create processes and rules – they are just ways of doing my work or fueling my desire to work… Painting is a way of exploring ideas and embodying them, so that they can be seen and shared.”

Bernard Frize
Travis, 2006, oil on canvas, 285 × 240 cm
LedZ, 2018, acrylic and resin on canvas, 280.5 × 522.5 cm